Flanders Audiovisual Fund hands out grants to six young filmmakers

The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) has announced this year’s Wildcard winners: six promising young filmmakers who will each receive a grant of between €25,000 and €60,000 to develop their first professional film. Raphaël Crombez and Miwako Van Weyenberg were winners in the fiction section, with Ruben Desiere and Kwinten Gernay each receiving a documentary Wildcard. The animation grant went to Laura Vandewynckel, with Christina Stuhlberger getting the Wildcard in the filmlab section.

KosmosSince it was introduced in 2005, the Fund’s competition has established itself as Belgium’s prime awards programme when it comes to launching new talent. Six grants are handed out: three worth €60,000 go to one animation project and two fiction shorts; the two documentary winners each get €40,000; and the Wildcard in the filmlab section comes with a prize of €25,000.

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Published on Thursday 4 December 2014

Torino Film Festival invites three Flemish debuts

Violet by Bas Devos and Teodora Ana Mihai’s Waiting for August have both been selected for competition at this year’s Torino Film Festival (21-29 November). Emilie Verhamme’s feature film debut Eau Zoo will have its international premiere at the Festival, while In Your Name, co-produced with Flanders, and Michaël R. Roskam’s The Drop are also part of the line-up.

Eau ZooAfter stops in Berlin, Karlovy Vary, Montreal and Los Angeles, Violet now heads for Turin, where it is to screen in the Torino 32 competition programme. Screening in the TFFDOC documentary competition, meanwhile, is Teodora Ana Mihai’s Waiting for August. Emilie Verhamme’s Eau Zoo receives its international premiere at the Torino Film Festival.

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Published on Tuesday 18 November 2014

Waiting for August nominated for European Film Award

Teodora Ana Mihai’s documentary Waiting for August is one of six nominees for this year’s European Film Award for Best Documentary. Mihai’s debut film about a Romanian teenager in charge of the family household has been receiving critical acclaim worldwide since its premiere in Toronto this year.

Waiting for AugustShot in a direct, fly-on-the-wall style, Mihai’s documentary focuses on the life of 15-year-old Georgiana Halmac who lives with her six siblings in a social housing block on the outskirts of Bacau, Romania. While their mother is away earning money in Italy, Georgiana is catapulted into the role of head of family and finds her adolescence cut brutally short.

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Published on Monday 10 November 2014

Waiting for August rings up number 10

Teodora Ana Mihai’s documentary feature Waiting for August has been awarded the prize for Best International Documentary at the Hot Springs International Documentary Festival in Arkansas, USA. The film also screened in Australia at the Antenna Documentary Festival, where it was similarly honoured as Best International Documentary.

Waiting for AugustInternational praise has kept on coming for Mihai since her documentary debut Waiting for August first made its appearance at the prestigious Hot Docs film festival in April. The film won the International Feature Award there, after which it travelled on to win awards in Karlovy Vary, at Kosovo’s Dokufest, and at the international film festivals of Budapest (Hungary), Bergen (Norway), Astra (Romania), Valdivia (Chile) and Reykjavik (Iceland). Waiting for August has also had theatrical runs in New York and Los Angeles.

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Published on Wednesday 22 October 2014

Flanders’ Eight to DOK Leipzig

Elephant’s Dream, a documentary feature by Kristof Bilsen, is to have its world premiere at DOK Leipzig, the International Film Festival for Documentary and Animation Film (27 October – 2 November). Joining it in competition is Sofie Benoot with Desert Haze; three of Wendy Morris’s animation shorts have also been selected. Completing the Flemish line-up this year are the animation short films Diamond, Cash Register 9 and Vol au vent.

Elephant's DreamKristof Bilsen’s new documentary film Elephant’s Dream has been confirmed for Leipzig’s Young Cinema Competition, a collection of first, second or third documentaries. Bilsen focuses on a group of public sector workers at a railway station, a post office and the only fire station in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Through the microcosm of these three state-owned institutions, Bilsen provides a poetic and compassionate insight into a country in transition.

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Published on Wednesday 22 October 2014

Waiting for August’s September prize haul

Teodora Ana Mihai’s documentary feature Waiting for August has been awarded the prize for Best International Documentary at the Bergen International Film Fest in Norway, while the jury of the Reykjavik Film Festival presented the film with its Environmental Award. The film is currently in theatres in Los Angeles and has a New York release scheduled later this month.

Waiting for AugustBoth prizes follow just a week after Waiting for August picked up yet another award at the Budapest Film Festival, where it screened in the ‘Let Them Be Children’ section. The Bergen International Film Festival in Norway (24 September–1 October) selected the film for its international documentary competition.

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Published on Tuesday 7 October 2014

Another Win for Waiting for August in Karlovy Vary

Teodora Ana Mihai’s documentary feature Waiting for August received the Award for Best Documentary Film during the closing ceremony of the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (4-12 July). The film has been on a winning spree since receiving the Best International Feature Award at Toronto’s Hot Docs and a Special Mention at Visions du Réel earlier this year.

Waiting for AugustWaiting for August marks Teodora Ana Mihai’s debut as a feature film director. Her Romanian roots led her back to her mother country. In a social housing block on the outskirts of the city of Bacau, 15-year-old Georgiana lives with her six siblings. While their mother is away, Georgiana is catapulted into the role of head of the family.

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Published on Tuesday 15 July 2014

Karlovy Vary invitation for Waiting for August and Violet

Teodora Ana Mihai’s Waiting for August will compete in the documentary competition at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (4-12 July), Eastern Europe’s foremost festival. Also invited is Violet by Bas Devos, whose feature debut is set to screen in Another View, the programme dedicated to films with an unusual artistic approach.

Waiting for AugustThe documentary competition in Karlovy Vary consists of 10 feature-length films and six shorts. Waiting for August follows Georgiana Halmac, a 15-year-old Romanian teenager living with her six siblings in a social housing block on the outskirts of Bacau

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Published on Wednesday 4 June 2014

Flemish filmgoers prove that talent mattered in 2013

Belgian films made in Flanders corner the market and bring home the prizes.

‘Talent Matters’ is the familiar slogan for promoting Belgian films made in Flanders. And talent certainly matters for Belgian audiences, who turned out in impressive numbers for local films in 2013.

MarinaAt home, almost two million moviegoers bought tickets to Flemish films in 2013 – a 17% increase on 2012. More impressively still, over three quarters of the national admissions for Belgian films were for movies made in Flanders.

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Published on Saturday 17 May 2014

International Feature Award for Mihai’s Waiting for August at Hot Docs

Waiting for August, the documentary feature by Romanian-Flemish director Teodora Ana Mihai, has won the Best International Feature Award at Hot Docs, Toronto’s world-renowned documentary film festival (24 April – 4 May). Meanwhile, the film was also given a Special Mention at the Visions du Réel festival in Switzerland, as was Ellen Vermeulen’s documentary 9999. Finally, Before The Last Curtain Falls, a co-production with Flanders, was also awarded at Hot Docs.

Waiting For August - Hot DocsTeodora Ana Mihai’s documentary debut Waiting for August screened in Hot Docs’ international competition, alongside 12 other documentary features.

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Published on Saturday 3 May 2014